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Cooking Tips

Tips for Cooking Perfect Pasta

Follow these instructions when preparing fresh or dried pasta.
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Published June 15, 2021.

1. Use plenty of water and stir frequently to keep the pasta from crowding and sticking. We suggest 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta.

2. Salting the cooking water is essential for properly seasoned pasta. We recommend 1 tablespoon of table salt for every 4 quarts of water.

3. Instead of relying on the package’s recommended cooking times, check the texture of the pasta by tasting it often during cooking.

4. Reserve some pasta water before draining the pasta. (Setting a liquid measuring cup near your timer or colander can help you remember to do this.) The starchy water can be used to thin a sauce without diluting flavor, and it's an essential ingredient for building certain sauces.

5. Drain the pasta thoroughly to ensure that sauce clings to it properly.

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